Kronos labor index: Job market more favorable for applicants
Chelmsford, Mass. — Kronos Inc. said Thursday that its Retail Labor Index for May, which characterizes the current state of the demand and supply sides of the labor market within the U.S. retail sector, rose to 4.1%. (This index is defined as the ratio of hires to applications within a given month, expressed as a percentage. A level of 3.0% means that for every 100 applications received, three hires occurred).
The May reading of the Retail Labor Index reflected a moderate decline in hiring outpaced by a sharp drop in applications.
The retailers representing 18,362 distributed locations across the U.S. that make up the Kronos data sample made 33,186 hires in May, down 4% from an upwardly revised 34,560 in April. While the recovery in the retail labor market has been gradual and uneven, hiring at retail firms in the Kronos sample this year remains well above that in recent years, said the company.
The number of applications received by retailers included in the Kronos sample fell 14.8% to 809,414 in May 2012, more than reversing a sharp 14.6% jump in April, all on a seasonally adjusted basis. The level of applications in May was more than 250,000 below its level one year ago, reflecting the uneven downward trend that began in the second half of last year. The number of applications received in May was at the lowest level since September 2007.
Chris Varvares, senior managing director and co-founder, Macroeconomic Advisers, said that the May 4.1% jump is “the fourth reading of 4.0% or higher in the last five months. Compared to readings of about 3.5% over the last few years, the higher level signals a slightly more favorable job market for applicants, with more hires occurring per application submitted than in previous years. While much of the recent boost in the Index is accounted for by large declines in applications since the middle of last year, it also reflects a pick-up in hiring since the low levels experienced during and following the Great Recession. The average level of hires so far this year remains well above levels seen over the last three years, pointing to a firming in retail labor market conditions.”
Amazon to collect sales tax—and build two DCs—in New Jersey
New York — Amazon.com Inc. will begin collecting 7% sales tax from New Jersey residents starting in July 2013. The online giant announced the agreenment on Wednesday at the Statehouse in Trenton, N.J. It also announced it will build two distribution centers in New Jersey.
Each warehouse will measure about one million square feet. The centers will create a projected 1,500 full-time jobs and would enable the state of New Jersey to collect an estimated $30 to $40 million in tax revenue.
Amazon has been involved in talks with N.J. state officials for months to open the facilities in New Jersey, but the decision was delayed while the company sought a two-year sales tax holiday.
A bill to let Amazon hold off on charging the sales tax was approved in the Assembly but then stalled in the Senate. Sponsors of the measure said on Wednesday the effort was now moot, The Newark-Star Ledger reported.
LIDS Sports Group in retail agreement with University of Florida
Indianapolis — LIDS Sports Group has reached an agreement with the University of Florida to operate and manage the official team stores for the Florida Gators. This includes two primary locations within “The Swamp,” as well as other special event concessions for the University’s baseball, basketball, and gymnastics athletic programs, among others.
Through this agreement, the former Florida Gators Sports Shop will be rebranded as the Gator Locker Room. In addition, the company will leverage its current LIDS Locker Room locations in the state of Florida to incorporate Gator Locker Room merchandise.